The Augusta City Council chose a consultant to help them find a new City Manager Monday night.
After hearing from three firms, the council chose to use The Austin Peters Group from Overland Park, KS for a base fee of $8,800. If all of the alternate services are used the city could spend more than $12,000 during the process which is expected to take between three and four months.
The governing body heard presentations from Art Davis of the Art Davis Group, Larry Shelton of Chell Consulting and Marla Flentje of the Austin Peters Group.
After the presentations, the council deliberated for several minutes before having a change of heart and going with Austin Peters.
The first poll of the council had five members – Mike Rawlings, Jamie (Hubbard) Crum, Jason Lowery, Matt Malone and Matt Childers – expressing a preference for the Art Davis Group.
Mayor Kristey Williams, Mike Wallace and Sue Jones preferred Austin Peters and Ron Reavis said he would choose Chell Consulting.
Wallace said he preferred Peters because of the detail included in their proposal.
Jones said Davis was her least favorite choice. “Marla (Flentje) is based in Wichita,” Jones said. “She is organized and can lead us through this. I would hope you would reconsider.”
Malone said he believed Davis would be the best equipped to lead the city in this process.
“Art (Davis) seemed like he would be able to hold our hand through this process,” Malone said. “He may not ‘wow’ us with paperwork and what he has done in the past, but I think he is our best choice.”
Williams said there was no competition when it came to the paperwork provided by the three firms.
Reavis made the motion to select Austin Peters which was seconded by Jones. The issue passed 7-1 with Matt Malone voting no.